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Foliar Sprays with Ultrasol™ K Improved Olive Production and Oil Content

In 2011, 3 demo trials were conducted on olive trees, Var. Nabali Improved (local variety) at 3 different sites in the Eastern Desert in Jordan. Planting density was 500 trees per hectare. A foliar spray treatment was compared to a non-foliar one. The foliar spray treatment consisted of 6 monthly sprays with Ultrasol® K (potassium nitrate) applied from April through September, at 4% (April and May), 5% (June and July) and 6% (August and September), with 5.000 litres of water per ha (Table 1). The olive tree plots treated with the Ultrasol® K programme during the growth season produced an increased number of fruits set (Fig. 1), more and bigger olives, and more olive oil per tree, compared to the untreated plots (Fig. 2). A summary of the agronomic and financial benefits is presented in Table 2.

Table 1. Spray programme with Ultrasol® K on olive.

Month

Ultrasol® K - Application rates

%

Kg per 1.000 litres

Kg per 5.000 l/ha

April

4

40

200

May

4

40

200

June

5

50

250

July

5

50

250

August

6

60

300

September

6

60

300

Total

300

1.500


Table 2. Summary of the agronomic and financial benefits.

Fruit sets

from +12% to +16%

Olive size

+6%

Number of olives per tree

from +10% to +12%

Olive oil (based on the oil content of 1 MT of olives per treatment)

+2%

Net profit (gross income minus costs for Ultrasol® K

+700 US$/ha

Cost Benefit ratio

1:1,3



Figure 1. Olive tree treated with Ultrasol® K. Figure 2. Untreated olive tree.